Football! PR FIFA super-fans on the beautiful game!

With FIFA fever gripping the world, our PR professionals are also caught in its’ grip. They share what footie means to them.

Ritesh Das Gupta, senior account manager, Zenosupporting Team France, followed by England and Belgium

Gupta’s love for football began, in his own words,  with, “Football, Bloody hell!’’ – Three simple words that captured the euphoria of a man who built a formidable English team and led them to global footballing greatness through a successful ‘Treble’ after winning the final game in the last 3 minutes!”

Crazy football fan moment!

“We had an outstation college workshop and as I realised that it was overrunning to the start of a Manchester United Vs. Manchester City Derby match, I channelled my inner Tom Hanks for an Oscar-worthy performance of falling unwell and got excused! Freedom! I snuck out to the hotel just two blocks down to catch the match.”

Inspired at work by coaching legend, Sir Alex Ferguson

“There is only one name in the world of football that while instilling fear also commands great respect — the man, the legend, Sir Alex Ferguson. Be it his staff, the opponent, the referee, the crowd or most importantly the players, Ferguson’s tenacity to win and his spirit to amaze not only put him into football’s hall of fame but also has made him a role model to millions, like me.”

Gupta adds that “From watching him live and following his life stories, the three most important aspects of his philosophy that I relate to in my professional approach is the ability to take risks, consistently adapt and most importantly man management.”

Tanushree Varadarajan, senior account executive, Adfactors PR, supports Team Spain

Like PR, there is never a dull moment in football for Tanushree Varadarajan. Varadarajan, also feels that football and sports resonate with her because it's all about how well the players communicate with each other.

'Varadarajan once applied for a job at the famous Emirates Stadium, home to Arsenal FC!'

Inspired by Arsene Wenger, former Arsenal manager

“His philosophies of aligning the culture, tradition and style of the players with that of the club is something that matches me as a Public Relations professional. I make a conscious effort to align myself with that of my organisation’s culture and tradition and work in tandem with my team.”

Amit Nanchahal, football fan working for one of the world’s largest ride-sharing firms

Amit Nanchahal spent the last two FIFA World Cups’ on just 2 hours of sleep. In spite of the time difference between South Africa ( 2010) and Brazil ( 2014), Nanchahal watched each and every match through the night.

What does he love about football?

In his own words, “ No language barrier, no politics, football is one game that unites the world. Fun to watch, short and crisp and a test of athleticism.”

Nanchahal with his son 

Inspired by?

“I am a big fan of Zidane; first as a player and then as a coach. To manage a team of superstars ( Real Madrid ) and to help them win title after title and then leave the club when you are at zenith is simply remarkable .”

Nanchahal has launched Twitter handle @Russia18Fifa to collate all FIFA related stories for Indian fans. 

Radha Radhakrishnan, an independent communications consultant, supports Team Argentina

Radha Radhakrishnan is a crazy Messi fan. All her work accessories laptop, mousepad have Messi prominently displayed, even her laptop skin is Messi in FCB and so is the mousepad. She even travelled to Kolkata from Bengaluru, in September 2011 to watch Messi in action in an Argentina vs. Venezuela match.

Inspired by?

“I like Pep Guardiola. His style is ideologically driven, dominant, distinct and defined. I think his style of football is driven more by intellect than passion.”

Animesh Biswas, account manager, Adfactors PR, supports Team Germany for FIFA as his ‘doosri’ team, otherwise its’s East Bengal FC all the way!

Biswas says, “Football teaches us the importance of two things — right strategy and good teamwork.” Something, he strives to bring to his PR job.

Inspired by?

José Mourinho,  the current manager of Manchester United. The best thing I like about Mourinho that he doesn’t talk much and doesn’t waste his time on useless non-match activities. His silence is killing and his limited spoken words become statements in media. The Portugal-born manager’s results speak for himself. His ‘Talk less and work more’ attitude matches with my working style.”

Mudit Bhatnagar - chief brand architect & CEO, Group Edge Media & Brand Managerssupports Team Argentina

Mudit Bhatnagar says that “ As a brand and communication professional I  subscribe to the concept of 'tiki-taka" or total football-which implies that any player can play at any position. Thus proving that football and our professional lives revolves around the concept of total teamwork.”

Adds Bhatnagar, “Communications is that thread that binds the organisation together and hence the concept of ‘tiki-taka’ ( invented by the Dutch, sadly post Cruyff, could not be carried forward by the side ).”

Crazy Fan Moment!

“Tried to colour my hair blue and orange — for my 2 favourite teams - Argentina and Netherlands.”

Abhishek Mahapatra, vice president, Communications, Corporate Affairs and CSR, Nissan India

This PR professional has a strong sporting streak in him. A former state-level tennis player for Odisha, Abhishek Mahapatra has also played football for the University of Pune and for the Deccan Gymkhana Club.

Nissan India's Abhishek Mahapatra's shares his crazy footie moment, saying, “I have played a match with a broken collarbone and won. I recalled Beckenbauer every single minute of that blissful experience." 

Why I love football?

“Football gives you opportunities to demonstrate and deploy ideas to win. It doesn't matter if you are the most decorated player, it is teamwork. It doesn't matter if you are the richest club, it's the spirit of fair play. It doesn't matter if you are losing in the beginning, you can always rebound.”

Inspired by?

“Cryuff. He said, and I will always remember, ’Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is.’”

Madhur Kalra, account director Cohn and Wolfe six Degrees, supports Team Argentina

Madhur Kalra started watching the beautiful game in 1994 when the World Cup was on in the USA. Among his first memories of football are, “ The individual brilliance of Maradona tainted by drugs, the  individual brilliance of Di Baggio falling short for Italy and teamwork of Brazil winning the day.”

Inspired by?

“In the current tournament, it will be interesting to watch Didier Deschamps from France on how he manages the star-studded squad and big egos.”

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